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Tank's Poetry
united states mine rescue association
Mine Disasters in
the United States


Mining Music

Dying Miner
(aka Goodbye, Centralia)
By Woodie Guthrie

It happened an hour ago
Way down in this tunnel of coal
The gas caught a fire from somebody's lamp
And my buddies are choking in smoke.

Dear daddy and mother, Goodbye,
Dear sister and brother, Goodbye,
My fingers are weak
And I cannot write

Goodbye Centralia, Goodbye.
It looks like the end for me
And all of my partners I see
When that work whistle blows and we don't come home

Do all that you can to help mom.
I can hear the moans and the groans
of more than a hundred good men
We're all writing letters to kids that we love

Please carry our notes to our wives.
This smoke is choking me down, yes,
The fumes are blinding my eyes
I see Joe Ballantinni, Fred Gutzler & Joy,

Forgive me for things I've done wrong,
I love you lots more than you know
Just work and fight and fix up these mines
so fire can't kill daddies no more.

Please name our new baby Joe
So he'll grow up like big Joe
And he'll make that old mining boss clean out your mines
So fires can't break out here no more.

Copyright 1947 (renewed) by Woody Guthrie Publications, Inc. & TRO-Ludlow Music, Inc. (BMI)



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